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Serene Gradient

College & MFA
Audition Coaching

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After observing auditions for the BFA programs at my alma mater, Pace's Sands School of Performing Arts, and working the Columbia University MFA Acting program auditions for a few years, I've learned from the decision makers (who happen to be my own audition coaches and teachers) what culminates in a successful college/grad school audition - and what does not. 

 

Sometimes, it's completely out of your control - like when they've already called back five three-headed monsters from the previous week's auditions and although you're a great three-headed monster, they already have five to choose from. Sometimes, it's completely within your control - like when you came in with a bad attitude because your iced caramel mocha chai tea latte was too cold.

During these auditions and my own grad school auditions over the course of 4 years at Columbia (accepted), USC (accepted), NYU Grad Acting (waitlist), USD/Old Globe (waitlist), Yale Drama (callbacks), Juilliard (callbacks), I've learned that there are really only three major secrets to success: pick the right pieces, be your best self and have fun! Easier said than done right?

What will we do in each 60-120 minute session?

  • Find the right contemporary and classical audition pieces for you, that you love working on ​

  • Make those pieces work for the unique person that you are (for example, we might work on making sure the story is being told, relating the piece to you and pursuing an action)​

  • Replace habits that don't serve you with ones that do

  • Rehearse entering the room, slating and interviewing​ (aka being a human being and having a conversation)

  • Help you feel comfortable on-camera to nail those self-tape prescreens​

  • Learn how to accept nerves, trouble-shoot in the moment and stay connected

  • Practice taking all sorts of direction, no matter how far it may be from your original choices

  • Instill a mindset of curiosity and get you thinking like an actor with a strong point of view whose making interesting choices

  • Record and coach you through your prescreens in my professional setup in Virginia!

  • Brainstorm and sometimes film footage for wildcards

  • Talk about which schools might be the right fit for you, which have well-attended senior showcases, etc. (I attend showcases and ask my casting friends and representation which ones they go to and what they think)

Over the past few years, I've become the go-to college prep coach in Northern Virginia, guiding young actors and their parents through the often confusing and overwhelming process of college auditions. Through a philosophy that takes pressure off of the actor and emphasizes process over result, actors find that they feel confident, prepared and ready to play in their prescreens, auditions and callbacks. I'm always just a text away for actors and their parents.

Ultimately, the goal is to find freedom to create throughout the process. If you're constantly stressing about getting your wildcard "right" and doing what you think "they" want to see, then how are they going to get to know YOU? You do you, boo. 

With the in depth knowledge of why one student gets a callback and another does not, I'm pumped to pass this information on to young actors gearing up for undergrad and grad school auditions! 

For those who sign up for multiple sessions, you can also expect:

  • Support throughout your audition season through text, FaceTime, etc.

  • Special rates for prescreen recording

  • Help with resumes, those dreaded wild cards, clothing, travel advice and any other questions you have as you complete your applications and get ready to audition

  • Guidance on choosing schools, which offer to accept, connections to my network of amazing folks to help musical theatre people through choosing songs, choreograph/clean dances and more!

Students have gained acceptance to BFA Musical Theatre and BFA Acting programs at:

*list is continuing to grow as 2024's acceptances roll in :)

California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)

Emerson College

Florida State University

The Hartt School

Indiana University

Marymount Manhattan

Molloy/CAP21

New York University

Oklahoma City University

Pace University

Penn State University

Point Park University

Shenandoah Conservatory

Syracuse University

University of the Arts

UCLA

University of Southern California

American University

Arizona State University

Ball State University

Bowling Green State

Catholic University

Chapman University

Coastal Carolina University

Eastern Carolina University

James Madison University

LIU-Post

Loyola Marymount University

Michigan State University

Muhlenberg College

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)

Stevens College

U of Colorado - Boulder

U of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign

UC Irvine

UNC-Greensboro

Virginia Commonwealth University

West Virginia University

Western Michigan University

Wright State University

In-Person & Zoom Rates:

$85/hr*

$300/pack of 4 ($75/hr)

$450/pack of 4 x 1.5hr

*Sliding scale available.

No one should be prevented from pursuing their dreams because their family cannot 

afford it. We will always figure something out. 

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about me

My training spans from Columbia University (MFA Acting, 2022) and Pace University (BFA Acting, 2012), to The Shakespeare Theatre of NJ (Apprenticeship) and The Atlantic Acting School (Evening Conservatory). At these programs and at other private studios, I’ve worked hands on and in-depth with techniques that cultivate emotional, physical and vocal freedom. Techniques include Alexander Technique, Meisner, Stanislavski, Feldenkrais, Michael Chekhov, Viewpoints, Laban, Linklater, Fitzmaurice, Improv and more.

I’ve had the honor of studying with some of the most innovative and respected acting teachers of our time, including Ron Van Lieu, Scott Zigler, Peter Jay Fernandez, Sita Mani, James Calleri, Bruce Cromer, Ellen Lauren, just to name a few.

 

As an actor, I have worked at Shakespeare Theatre Company, Mosaic Theatre Company, Virginia Stage Company, Toms River Shakespeare Festival, The Shakespeare Theatre of NJ, Adirondack Shakespeare Company, Punchdrunk (creators of Sleep No More), and many others. On TV, you can catch me on Investigation Discovery’s A Crime To Remember and Nick Jr.’s Team UmiZoomi. Films include countless student and short films over the years in NYC. At Columbia, I’ve been a part of the new play development process for many full length and one act plays.

I offer Coaching Sessionssupport and pre-screen recording throughout audition season for high school, undergrad and graduate school auditions. The general goal is to take the pressure off by beginning a young actor's higher education training journey. This results in actors already having the confidence to fail gloriously and be in process, which makes for dynamic and playful exploration in the room. With tons of positive reinforcement from me, actors are already in the good goo and figuring out who they are as artists when it's time to submit pre-screens and do live auditions.

 

I also offer Private Lessons for persons of any age and skill level who would like to learn technique, develop specifics of their physical instrument and how to think like an actor. Private Lessons are geared towards long term study and growth. They are also a great option for executives and folks who would like to cultivate a dynamic presence and improve public speaking.

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